So Wednesday night was the final of the Coppa Italia, with a one-legged final for the second year, and like last year one of the two finalists was effectively at home, playing in the Stadio Olimpico. Oh, except it wasn't us this year. This of course is blatantly unfair (and to say that the FA Cup is played in the capital is wholly specious) but we benefited from this stupidity last year so what can I say?
A season in which Inter win the league and Lazio win the cup is never one in which Roma fans are going to be happy. Add to the that the increasing possibility that we might not even be in the whatever-dumb-name-they've-given-to-the-Uefa-cup next year (Lazio, of course, play in that competition as cup winners) and last but by no means least the horrors of that derby defeat, and you could truly say that our cup runneth over. It's not entirely surprising: we got off to a bad start, then there was a bad middle, then we had a brief period of not bad, just to tantalise us, and then a bad ending. Although description offers the misleading idea that we offered some kind of consistency, albeit negative; alas not even that dubious consolation is ours. We were good enough, when we were good, to make the bad absolutely intolerable.
Meanwhile I feel obliged to say something about Lazio. Last summer there were a lot of smart-arse remarks being made about their summer transfer campaign, and in particular the idea of buying a young forward from that powerhouse of European football, Birmingham City. Having seen Zarate in action for said giant of the game in the Premier League I didn't share my fellow romanisti's* sense of hilarity about this purchase. I don't think anyone's laughing now.
*just where does the apostrophe go there? romanistas'? romanistis'?
Oh alright then back to Lazio, if I must. Notwithstanding the entire combined will of the red & yellow half of the city on Wednesday, temporarily red-and-yellow-and-blucerchiato, Lazio won on penalties after a 1-1 draw (taking the lead, inevitably, through Zarate). Muslera, the previously hapless keeper, looked like man reborn. Samp were inevitably overly Cassano-dependent, but held their own. Overall I think it was probably a fair win for Lazio, who on their day can play very good attacking football, as we know to our cost. Looks like it was a good occasion, and most Italians were just grateful that it wasn't Inter-Roma for a fifth consecutive year. The Samp fans (who are, in my opinion, among the best in Serie A in terms of dedication & presence if not numbers) did a very nice precise t-shirt based coreografia :
No, no picture of the Laziali though I believe they did a seriously impressive coreografia too. I can only stretch this graciousness thing so far.